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HP TECH TAKES /...

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HP Wide Format Plotter Printers

HP DesignJet Plotter Printer Overview

Linsey Knerl
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Reading time: 8 minutes
For engineers, architects, and construction professionals who need to visit job sites and meet with customers away from the office, it’s important to have access to gear while working remotely. Thanks to advances in plotter printer technology, it’s easier than ever to create and share your work on the road or in the office.
But what exactly does a plotter printer do? How can you use one to create stunning presentations and finely detailed project plans? We answer these questions and much more in our overview of the HP DesignJet plotter printer series.

What’s the difference between a printer and a plotter?

A plotter is a precise, mechanical drawing tool that uses a pen or pencil to create fine lines on a piece of paper. A plotter printer uses ink or toner to replicate the accuracy of the plotter but with the features and technology of a modern printer. They are also known as “wide-format” printers because they can print on much larger sheets of paper to produce blueprints, large marketing posters, and other larger-than-life prints.

Plotter functions

1. High level of detail
Many industries use plotter printers, but especially those that need a high level of detail in prints. For example, electrical engineers would use a plotter printer to print out schematics for wiring inside an appliance. Because these illustrations are so intricate, any bleeding or smudges can ruin a print. You don’t have to worry about that with a plotter printer.
2. Larger prints
Do you create marketing materials for events, conferences, trade shows, or content for customer presentations? If so, you can definitely benefit from a plotter printer. Other plotter uses include printing out posters, displays, and mock-ups for even larger designs that you can use to plan everything from architectural designs to engineering renders to retail merchandising or safety signage.
3. More accuracy
Is accuracy in your printing important to you? If you answered yes, then you may need to consider a plotter printer. This applies to construction professionals, interior designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone who values precision. Color can also be used in prints to provide additional accuracy by drawing attention to specific details.
4. Bigger devices
These printers take up more room than a typical inkjet or laser printer. You can find them in workspaces like home offices and studios, but also in the field on construction sites. The good news is that they have optimized profiles to minimize their footprint while using digital apps and wireless technology to communicate, so they deliver all the benefits of a connected device.

HP DesignJet plotter printer types

The HP line of plotter printers is called DesignJet, and they come in a variety of sizes with varying plotter functions. They all include the technology you've come to expect from HP Inkjet printers, including app-based printing. They’re also easy to set up and use.
Each wide-format plotter prints on a variety of materials, including bond, coated, technical, photographic, and self-adhesive papers. You’ll also get error-proof results on different finishes, like satin, gloss, matte, and natural tracing materials.
Here are 3 models that highlight the entry-level range of the HP DesignJet technical printers.

1. HP DesignJet T200 plotter series

HP DesignJet T200 plotter series
The HP DesignJet T200 plotter is made for the home studio, home office, or small business. This series of printers are actually the world’s smallest plotters, and you can fit it in tight spaces to enjoy incredible print results in the sizes you need most up to 24 inches.
This compact plotter is efficient, budget-friendly, and produces high-quality prints with HP Bright Office Ink, which delivers accurate lines and graphics with a broader gamut. You no longer have to go into the office or stop by a print shop to deliver projects on time, even those last-minute, large-format requests from clients or managers.
This plotter comes with a stand accessory and roll cover accessory, and it features a sheet feed, roll feed, and automatic horizontal cutter. You can also purchase an optional automatic sheet feeder. It supports both multi-size A3/B and A1/D projects without you needing to manually switch the media source.
Key features:
  • Print A1 pages in as little as 30 seconds, 68 D prints per hour
  • 512MB internal memory
  • Made from up to 30% recycled plastic
  • Up to 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi resolution
  • Weighs 47 lbs

2. HP DesignJet T600 plotter series

HP DesignJet T650 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer
The more robust HP DesignJet T600 plotter printers are made for office environments. These plotter printers deliver the same ease-of-use features and brilliant print clarity you want, just with a few upgrades for busy teams.
It includes the automatic sheet feeder, the stand, and the roll cover. It’s ideal for MCAD, GIS, and AEC pros who need to print technical documentation and maps with precise specifications. It’s an ideal pick for in-house production and on-site delivery of the most intricate designs and plans. In addition, convenient, in-house printing is less expensive than outsourced printing, so you save money over time.
Key features:
  • Available in 2 large-format sizes (24 inches and 36 inches)
  • Prints A1 sheets in up to 25 seconds, up to 82 D prints per hour
  • Up to 1GB of internal storage
  • Up to 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi print resolution
  • Weighs 78 lbs

3. HP DesignJet T850 Series

HP DesignJet T850 Large Format Wireless Plotter Printer
The HP DesignJet T850 Series simplifies multi-size printing for AEC, GIS, and MCAD professionals. From maps to technical drawings to posters, the T850 plotter printer offers accurate line quality and crisp text detail for any prints you produce.
You’ll enjoy printing half-size print jobs without manually changing from rolls to sheets with an integrated input tray. The printer also offers HP Wolf Pro Security to protect your work from cyber threats. You’ll also rest easy knowing that this printer is made with at least 35% recycled plastics.
Key features:
  • 25 sec/page on D, 90 D prints per hour
  • Pigment-based (C, M, Y, mK)
  • Print Resolution Color (best) up to 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi
  • Input tray (50 sheet), media bin, sheet feed, roll feed, automatic horizontal cutter
  • Dynamic security enabled printer

4. HP DesignJet Studio plotter series

HP DesignJet Studio plotter series
With a choice of a modern wood or steel appearance and a clean aesthetic that looks eye-catching in any office or studio, the HP DesignJet Studio plotter is available in both 24-inch and 36-inch formats. Designers and studio professionals can seamlessly switch between the roll and tray, allowing you to handle multi-size jobs on the same day.
The DesignJet Studio series is also the first carbon-neutral HP DesignJet plotter. To meet carbon-neutral standards, HP reduces packaging materials, increases energy efficiency, uses recycled plastics, and offsets any remaining carbon impact from the manufacture and transportation of these plotters (or printers). HP also handles electricity, paper, and cartridge use in accordance with The Carbon Neutral Protocol.
This all adds up to a sleek, stylish, modern plotter printer that was awarded Red Dot's 2021 Design Award for its ability to adapt to users' needs while remaining approachable and accessible.
Key features:
  • Up to 25-second A1 print speed, 81 D prints per hour
  • Up to 1GB of internal storage
  • Up to 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi resolution
  • Weighs 74 lbs

HP DesignJet workflow solutions

While you may first notice the physical functions and capabilities of these plotter printers, it's the software and collaborative solutions that really set these printers apart. Here are more plotter features to look forward to:
1. HP Click software
Printing is so simple with HP Click, a submission tool that takes your projects from file to physical print in a single click. The software supports formats from PC or Mac, such as TIFF, DWF, JPEG, and PDF.
You also get automatic nesting, manual rotation, and reorder page prompts. And creating posters, roll-up banners, and maps is a cinch when you use the real-print preview to see how it will look before you press print.
2. HP mobile printing
All HP wireless printers offer mobile printing, and the HP DesignJet family is no exception. With the mobile printing app, you can send documents to print from cloud storage or from third-party apps. You can essentially print anytime, from anywhere, and you can schedule your prints, too.
With direct printing, you can skip connecting your phone or tablet to the network and send documents to the printer securely without installing any additional apps for iOS devices. Android and Chrome devices get the most from downloading the HP Print Service plugin. You can also view, monitor, and manage all of the printers on your network from the app.
3. HP SmartTracker
With HP SmartTracker, you can get to know your printing costs better and assign them where they belong. This tool lets you track your printing data across multiple printers and create reports so you can interpret the results. Companies can use this for reimbursement, project planning, and client expenses. Plus, you can import the data into most bookkeeping tools.
4. HP PrintOS
If you use your device solely for printing, consider installing the HP PrintOS. It provides powerful applications that simplify your production workflow and even automate your most repetitive tasks. You can use this secure, cloud-based platform from anywhere, so you can oversee even the most complicated print productions when you’re not in the office.
The operating system also has an open API, which means you can integrate your favorite third-party apps and tools for use with HP PrintOS.

Summary

HP plotter printers deliver their prints in the way you’d want from a traditional plotter with accuracy, precision, and deep contrast. Where they differ is in their easy maintenance, connectivity tools, and workflow shortcuts that help you do more with your time.
With the range of entry technical models available, you can find one to fit your office space and your budget. They are big enough to support the large formats you need, but they also feature low-profile body designs so you can keep them out of the way when they’re not in use.
HP plotter printers can help to transform businesses of all kinds through exceptional printing quality and workflow improvements.

About the Author

Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

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